After the misadventures of the last couple days, I think my computer is cured. I hope. I'm being wary and somewhat untrusting still...
When I booted up this morning, I got a "specified module could not be found" error box, and the file it was looking for was named suspiciously like all the other "infected" filenames from yesterday. I closed the box and checked my email.
As I tried to click on one of my email messages, an ad popped up, followed by a second one. I closed them and did my breakfast-time blog reading, getting more ads to pop up in pairs every ten minutes or so. After I finished reading and knew my virtual world was in order, I pulled up McAfee Security Center and did a Firewall Lockdown.
With my system locked down (no incoming or outgoing internet traffic) I did not get any pop-up ads. I also did not get to read the news. Or find job openings online. Or listen to talk radio. Or blog.
I waited to call McAfee to fix the Adware virus until I had a good block of time, which was good because I waited on hold for about 30 minutes. But Joshua (good, solid Indian name) was worth the wait, and he hunted down more ugly-named files (pretend you smashed your fingers all over the keyboard--that's the kind of names the viruses use), and I told him that I didn't recognize a couple of the filenames that he was skipping over, so he went back and got rid of them too. He must not have recognized them either.
After he finished up and removed his virus-killer software from my system, I rebooted and held my breath for the first of the ads to pop up, which they usually do within a minute of getting internet access. They didn't come.
It's been about half an hour since I rebooted, and there have been no pop-up ads.
My fingers are still crossed behind my back, but I think I can safely say: Life is good!
Update (Thursday morning):
No more ads. No more Antivirus 2009. Nothing popping up that shouldn't.
I noticed last night that I was doing a lot of deep cleansing breaths around the house. I hadn't realized I'd been holding my breath, so to speak, in case the ads came back. When I finally knew they were really gone, it's as though my body needed to exhale all the stress that had built up. It's good to be back to normal again.