Plagued with a trojan that trashed my toolbars, changed my preferences and made some shit that I didn't want into my default search site, which Spybot sought but did not find and certainly did not destroy, I headed to the web and found Hijack This. If you don't already have it dl'd, get it, you need it.
It scans your machine and tells you what's running. As well as an eyeopening variety of legit programs that if you rack your brain you can figure out what they are (although I'm puzzled why my printer needs so much goddamned stuff, I'm sure I can switch it all off but I haven't figured out how to stop it from loading when I power up), it finds nasty pieces of shitware that have snuck their way onto your machine. It then cleans them up (and if it can't, you can do it for yourself). If you're a little bit technically adept, you can figure out what the bad stuff is and get rid of it. If not you can use the forums listed on TomCoyote's page and someone will help.
What an amazing thing to be able to write: someone will help. For free and gratis. That's what the interwebnet is about for me. It's about wikis, shared resources, give a little, take a little. Yes, it's also about arseholes who will fuck up your machine -- which in some cases (yes, I mean mine) is a vital source of entertainment, information, sometimes a lifeline -- just so that you are fed a couple of extra ads each day or, and I'm not sure whether it's worse or just as bad, will pop a dialler onto your HD, which will phone up Barbados or, curiously, Germany, and put you in touch with some robot whore that will "chat" with you about the sex it can't have and you're not having (I'm guessing -- although I have had such diallers on my HD (I used not to have a firewall when I used dialup), I've never waited around long enough before downing the phone line (which I figure you have to do -- closing the window doesn't break the connection, not that you can close the window because it's scripted to bring itself back up again, nor does closing down IE) to kibosh their wickedness).
(I just noticed -- the poxy thing killed the icons some sites give you when you bookmark them (except weirdly for XE.com, which I use for currency conversions (well, can you do 70 billion yen into dollars in your head?). Or I did when I tried to murder it. Pity.)
Did you see those parentheses? I'm going through a phase. I've never been a big fan -- if what you say needs parenthesising, I figure, it's not begging to be said.
Still, as my favourite coffee artist says: "When an intellect is too weary to deduce, it thinks in apothegms."
Which is bollocks but you need a dictionary to find out that it is. And if he can say that, I can forgive myself a few brackets here and there.