I seem to know more about computers than many non-techy people, but I hate anything having to do with the working parts. But I have had some good expert advice on this computer problem, plus I've Googled the names of the malicious stuff on this hard drive. The main culprit is the trojan.win32. It seems to have come in on Tuesday afternoon and WAS caught by my AVG virus program. I clicked to put it in the virus vault, but apparently there was a jail break.
It makes all sorts of pop-ups show up which purport to be anti spyware programs (for $$) that will get rid of the problems. Some of them look like Microsoft pages, but a bit fuzzier. Researching this malware confirms that it seems to be associated with some online companies. I'm not going to give in to their coercion.
I've run AdAware, which I already have in my computer. It didn't get rid of (enough of) the malware.
I found a reference to SpyHunter by Enigma Software, which was listed as a FREE spyware detection program. I downloaded that. Hmmmm, yes, it did detect the malware for free, but if I wanted it removed, there was a $30 fee to sign up for the real version. I had been told that this might happen, but it would probably be worth the price. I paid the ransom. It worked. Sort of. I had to redownload the program and put in some codes (that didn't want to work at first), and then it DID REMOVE the malware and spyware. Except that after 15 mnutes it came back.
Now I'm downloading a free program called SpyBot. It really is free, except that they ask for a contribution. Sounds like church.
Well, if it washes the computer, it may be like free grace. But in this case, I'm dealing with downloading all this stuff on a slow dial up internet connection. Lets hope that this one works.