Youngest son was up for the weekend. Good time. Anyhow he used my trusty desktop to do some email, and then he said "Dad, your computer is REALLY slow." Well, yeah it had been slowing down bit by bit over time. Youngest son suggested blowing Firefox away and then re installing clean.
So last night I started in on it.
Ran Spybot Search&Destroy. It found and zapped a buncha cookies, and some registry keys, none of which sounded particularly dangerous, but you never know. Zapped them all.
Then go for a clean install of Firefox. Fire up Internet Exploder, Bing for firefox, click on the first reply, and then leave. Click on Start->Settings->AddRemoveProgram. Hit remove on Mozilla Firefox. That goes OK. Double check. Fire up regedit and search the registry for keys containing Firefox. Zap most of 'em, skip keys that look like pointers to Firefox for other programs to use.
Go back to Internet Exploder and click on Download. This is not so good. It tries to get me to download a couple of suspicious programs, a driver updater and a speed-me-up program. Won't take no for an answer, both Yes and NO buttons get you to the download page. Finally get to the Firefox download. That trundles along for minutes, and then croaks.
So, restart Internet Exploder, Bing for Firefox again. Read the dozens of hits. Second hit down is the official Mozilla website. Click on that, and Firefox downloads and installs smoothly. No suspicious extra programs. Click on Help and then About, and Firefox updates it self to version 45. And my bookmarks still work. Moral of the story, If you Google for a something and get a bunch of hits, read each hit, try for the hit that looks like it's the maker's website. By this time Trusty Desktop is running faster. More like his old self.
Download MalwareBytes, and run it. It gets 11 hits, all on something names PUP.whatever. Zap those.
Start up Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool. Select "all files". It's been running for 20 minutes now and has four hits. It's still running. I'll zap all hits when it finishes.
So, Spring Cleaning for Windows.
1. Empty the recycle bin and delete any files you don't need/want
2. Run every antivirus you have, and you trust.