|"Fortunately the recovery DVDs did work, but they were for another same brand computer, so now it has Vista rather than XP."|
You were fortunate, indeed.
Some brand name models came with either XP or Vista on them originally - I assume your aunt's model could have come with either, and that's why it worked with the Recovery disks.
"I had forgotten how bad, slow, and resource hogging that OS was >_<."
You may be able to get the computer to run Vista much better by simply adding more ram than it has now. However, it may not be able run run Vista as fast as it was running XP in any case.
"But done is done, unless I could get a XP recovery disc online somewhere?"
If her computer is about 5 years old or less, they're often still available from the brand name's web site.
If not, there are a few web sites that have collected Recovery disk sets for brand name computers that you can buy for a similar price.
In either case, buying the Recovery disk set is much cheaper including shipping than buying the cheapest type of new XP CD - a Microsoft OEM XP Home CD.
Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model, or at least the model, of your mboard.
The model of a brand name system is usually on a label on the outside of the case,
or if it's a Dell system, go here to find your Service tag number, tell us what it is:
or if it's a Compaq or HP system
Scroll down a bit.
Find the similar label on the outside of the case.
- specific model number - at the end of the first line
- the Product Number - p/n - on the third line
The model of a mboard in a a generic desktop system is usually printed in obvious larger characters on the surface of the mboard, often between the slots, or near the center of the mboard.
Some computers show a screen with the model number on it while booting the computer.
"...Windows Security Essentials, that seems to be getting some good reviews for utility, effectiveness and ease of use. "
Your aunts problems were caused by crap that was installed because she fell for the scam. It wouldn't have mattered whatever anti-malware software she had installed, except possibly the paid version of Malwarebytes might have prevented the software from installing.
I usually install the free version of AVG on my systems and other people's systems I work on, currently AVG 2012, although AVG 2011 will be supported for a while yet.
NOTE that most versions of Vista have Microsoft's Windows Defender anti-spyware software built into it. It can't be un-installed, but it can be prevented from running by changing settings in Windows Defender itself.
Installing Microsoft's Security Essentials automatically prevents Windows Defender from running.
Installing most, but not all, major anti-malware software prevents Windows Defender from running, but I make sure Windows Defender has been prevented from running in it's settings to make sure, otherwise Windows Defender and the other anti-malware software may conflict with each other.
NOTE that I KNOW Security Essentials conflicts with AVG 2011's or 2012's Resident Shield module.
"And yes, I backed up and then redeployed my aunt's important data onto the new installation of Vista, that information is secure."
Too many people neglect to do that.
"However, something I should have mentioned before, is that I came to this computer after many months of not being used by my aunt, who said it was "unusable". I'm guessing because she couldn't access the internet or USB drives for photo transfers etc.
However, she said the computer only became unusable after she fell for the Techno Genie scam, where someone from India calls, says there's a virus on the scam target's computer, and that the scam target needs their help and to buy their software. She lost a fair bit of money through this scam unfortunately, but as I was away in Holland for 12 months studying, she didn't think to call or contact me to check. I just found out my grandfather was similarly scammed at the same time, though he went and sent his computer somewhere to be fixed, and it came back fine."
Did you know about that before you started this Topic ??
If yes, you should have mentioned that in the first post !
Your aunt allowed her computer to be highjacked !
There is probably already info on the web about how to get rid of Whatever Techno Genie installed and whatever Techno Genie contaminated the computer with.
"There otherwise aren't any other symptoms in general that I can recall the computer displaying, beside an abnormally long load time for the malwarebytes software when i double clicked the setup.exe program. Despite everything else being positively zippy on the XP installation, in between double clicking to install Malwarebytes, and the first installation window finally popping up, it was probably 3-4 minutes"
Malwarebytes specializes in detecting and getting rid of crap that a "rogue" anti-malware program was responsible for contaminating the computer with, but the software Techno Genie was responsible for installing may have done more than that.
It usually takes only a short time to initially install the Malwarebyes software, but in this case I suspect it detected something was interfering with it accessing the internet, but the installation software was "clever" enough that it was able to get around that and update itself.
I'm assuming it WAS able to update itself - was it ? If NO, then the Full malwarebytes scan can't find and get rid of stuff that 's newer than what the current download was designed for - the download may be as much as a few months old.
You didn't say whether you installed Malwarebytes in Windows Safe mode with networkong (mode0 - if youn didn't do that, it would probably have taken only the usual short time to install it .
"As for the extra internet questions:
The modem is a wi-fi router (all in one?), and my aunt's computer didn't have an inbuilt wireless card, but accessed the net through a USB D-Link wireless adapter. The adaptor would connect to the WiFi network while in both non-safe mode and in safe mode, but not to the internet (though I only tested this through loading up browsers, like Firefox, IE and Chrome, which would give blank pages or error messages, such as "you are not connected to the internet". The adaptor works fine with the new Vista recovery installation."
The inability to connect to the internet in normal mode was probably caused by something Techno Genie was responsible for installing.