Removing hidden unwanted programs on windows

I’m not very knowledgeable with computers so bear with me. My brother has a windows XP; he doesn’t pirate, download much music, doesn’t visit a lot of porn or bad sites that would most likely infiltrate his computer, see where I’m going? However every once in a while he’ll get an update from microsoft randomly and it’ll prevent him from accessing the internet or it will delete necessary programs such as word, powerpoint, or make his computer really really slow; and the only way to get rid of the issue was to either buy a stupid program microsoft advertises to us or take it to the repair shop. The last few times he took it to a repair shop to fix it and its driving him nuts as this is shortening his wallet.

Him and I want to learn how to delete these inconveniences ourselves. Just throw out some general terminology or even, if you can, post links where we can begin to do our research n such.

Sounds like you and your brother likely have whats called a "rogue virus". These viruses typically masquerade themselves as legitimate programs that you must purchase in order to fix some supposed errors on your computer. They can also do things like hide your programs on your start menu as well as your desktop icons.

These can easily be removed. If you’re looking for a good place to research, I recommend two forums:

If you browse around these two, you’ll find tons of knowledge around the removal of this kind of crap. This should help save you some money at the repair shop.

Yeah, that isn’t MS advertising anything…

As I said I’m not brilliant with computers but I’m thinking at least a couple of them were attempts to get us to buy products. Twice we were unable to connect to safari, internet explore, and even firefox… however we had internet connection and the only website we could get access too was an anti-virus product straight from microsoft’s site.

Thanks for the info guys!

Again – there’s no way that was MS’s site.

The rogue software peddlers are very, very good at making their sites look legitimate. All of the advice given so far is spot on.

malwarebytes and combo fix have gotten rid of everything i have tried to remove.

typically i only use combofix if malwarebytes cant detect and remove the malware. however, some people start off with combofix.

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