Just this once Comcast may be right about your PC being a botnet zombie. I treat their warnings with a whole deal of scepticism, sorry to say, but if you're still running XP SP2 your defences are pretty much below par. McAfee may have been sabotaged by malware and so not able to function properly.
Where to start? First, Hitman Pro and McAfee won't work well together. If you've got a paid-for version of Hitman and you want to sort out McAfee, see if you can uninstall it. The free version should be okay to run, though.
Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool only checks for a limited subset of malware, so it might well report Nothing Found. McAfee's Stinger also only deals with a subset of all the malware McAfee knows about.
"McAfee ... was deleted". What exactly happened there? If you had to reinstall McAfee it might well not work properly. You're supposed to run the cleanup tool to get rid of files and registry settings. I don't know if MVT could fix that.
Sounds like you're running around in circles. The best way to start might be to download Microsoft's Live Safety Scanner and run that, if you can't be sure McAfee is working properly. Ignore, for the moment, any nags that Comcast is giving you and especially don't let them sucker you into going down the Norton route (they will try, believe me).
Then download and run Malwarebytes free version. Make sure that in the settings you've got P2P checking enabled (it's off by default, can't think why). You may need to run a Full Scan with it rather than a Quick Scan.
If you've got IE8 on your system, now get SP3. There are many hundreds of security fixes in the Service Pack and afterwards, and you've been living without them. Then go to Microsoft Updates and download all the available High-Priority updates. Repeat for all the non-critical Optional updates.
If McAfee is messed up then uninstall it from Add/Remove Programs. Run the MCPR tool to clear up, then re-install McAfee and immediately check for updates. If you run into trouble doing this Ex_Brit and Peacekeeper are the experts, they re-install all the time whereas I don't.
At some point get CCleaner and clean up your hard drive. Malware often drops files in temp directories, and getting rid of them will help.
That's enough for now. I won't even mention rootkits or ask about your router. I suspect you could be finding malware on your system for quite some time, but it's essential you get the latest SP installed for XP or you're basically defenceless. And then get Mcafee up and running - even if you have to lose Hitman Pro for a while.
first off, thanks for the reply, sorry for the lateness but these scans take 2-3 hours at a time.
lets see, I just have the free trial version of hitman. As for mcafee I don't know, this laptop was gifted to me because it was too old, now I know why.
"McAfee ... was deleted". What exactly happened there?"
hitman determined that some files in mcafee were infected so it deleted them, I ran Live safety scanner before,but it came up clean, but I did again anyway , it came up with a few thousand infected files and started to delete them. it froze would not respond and I had to shutdown thru task manager. So I ran Malwarebytes, it found a few thousand files and deleted thenm, reboot, I ran it again, now it says its clean.
now while parts of mcafee were deleted some of it is still running, unfortunately the uninstall.exe was deleted somewhere, so I cant go thru add/remove. Will the MCPR remove it for me? I need to read, so, Mcafee was probably installed by the manufacture, and I have no disc's, accounts, I'm not sure how to remove it.
another fun little fact, while Mcafee still worked and I was installing IE8, a bunch of warning came up from Mcafee instantly, so I blocked all access thru the firewall which included IE8, now IE8 cant get online.
I can't open up Mcafee security center, neither can I open up the personal firewall, but its running..
are all currently running, the only thing that I can open is SpamKiller, which seems useless.
I'm strongly tempted to advise you to save any data files you need, and then wipe the hard disk competely - reformat it and start over. Although if you don't have the original installation CDs from Microsoft that's not really an option.
Have you tried uninstalling McAfee from Add/Remove Programs? If that doesn't work there are programs you can download such as Revo Uninstaller - never used it, so can't tell you if it's any good, but it's supposed to be useful for these difficult uninstalls.
Clean up the disk with CCleaner and then run a registry scan only with CCleaner and see how much it finds. Don't delete anything from the registry at this stage. It's just to see whether there are McAfee entries in the list of things the scan finds.
Then try Windows Live Safety Scanner again. Let it run, don't assume it's stuck unless there's no apparent progress for an hour or so. That scan is quite thorough and takes a long time to run.
Add/Remove does not work, when I click on it, windows says that is may have already been uninstalled.
I'll go run CCleaner.
as for Windows Live Safety Scanner, It brought up the window saying there was an error and was unable to continue, I clicked close and it sat for about a half hour, then I used task manager, the process took well over 3 hours for 11GB if files. Is that normal (ish)?
should I attempt Revo to remove what's left of McAfee before CCleaner?
Revo : you may as well give it a try. If it works, MCPR may not work properly but give that a try - it just cleans up files and registry settings. Then run CCleaner (delete files but check-only for registry).
I reckon the file system could be damaged, so you should also run a chkdsk - set it to check and repair the file system. The various programs you've been using have been deleting, as you say, many hundreds of files. You might also need to run 'sfc /scannow' from a command prompt in case some of the system files are corrupted.
Revo Uninstaller may not be able to remove McAfee even though some of the McAfee files have gone and some of its functions aren't working properly (having no Security Center is definitely a problem here). One of the McAfee functions is to prevent its core files being deleted or modified, so Revo may not work.
One thing you should try before using Revo is to run MVT and see if that can repair some of the damage. It can't fix missing files though.
Looking at the running services I see McVSEscn.exe - which, along with the presence of XP SP2, suggests that this is an old version of McAfee. If you can uninstall it, do so, and get a newer version.