Judging from the occasional pop-ups and the fact that a few weird files kept appearing in my HijackThis logs throughout the evening, I figured that there were still some traces of the adware programs left on my computer. The real kicker came, however, when we tried reinstalling Yahoo! Messenger and it wouldn't budge on us. Big mistake -- that allowed me to pinpoint the malware's identity and jimmy a solution.
Based on my efforts last night, I knew that I had already knocked the adware infestation down to one knee. The program was taking longer than usual to regenerate due to a massive wall of updated antivirus software, I had restored access to various Internet search engines, and my computer was no longer resisting my efforts to hunt down and eradicate rogue files. The only open issue lay in locating each and every one of the infected items; once I knew what I was dealing with, however, everything suddenly became a whole lot easier.
Moreover, it also gave me insight into how the computer still came back infected even after a full master drive reformat. I have to admit that it was a cunning move, placing key initiator files in external and slave drives; now I have to go around and make sure that our flash disks aren't infected as well.
Still, I've obviously won this second round. Yahoo! Messenger is working again, our connection speed is a lot faster, and I haven't seen any pop-ups or warning messages for the last hour. This might not be a guarantee that the system is fully cleansed, but I'll take whatever good omens this little piece of technology will give me.
And in case you were expecting something literary today, I must point out that the rudimentary technical expertise is part of my background. I can do HTML code, study process logs, write macros, and open up a full-sized tower casing to a certain extent. But beyond that, I also use this stuff as the basic groundwork for science fiction-type explanations. I've drawn upon my experience as a literary resource for the past few years, but given what's happened over the last few days, I can apparently still use it for other -- more technical -- requirements.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to let this stew for a day or so. If I don't run into any other anomalies by the time the weekend is over, then that 2-0 score up there will be enough to win the whole thing. It'll also be a lovely way to wrap up the month, if I must say so.