Recently my home PC started behaving weirdly - throwing up unwanted pop-ups intermittently. When I checked up with running processes, there were few suspicious ones which were sending across my browsing pattern to some server in some remote corner of the WWW.
I already have Spybot installed on my machine and so I immediately ran a scan. "No threats found" is what it reported after scanning my machine for about 15 minutes. Okay, my fault, the definitions were not updated. Now, next logical step was to connect to the update server and get the latest definitions. By the time Spybot was updated, I helped myself with a cup a hot tea. Now I needed to run the scan again and I complied. Roughly 20 minutes of scanning reported some 15 problems. The thought that my browsing pattern will be private again once I hit the "Fix Now" button made me happy. But as they say, don't count your chickens before they hatch. Spybot said that since some processes were holding up few files, I will have to allow Spybot to run after the system reboots. Fair enough. Here you go.
After reboot, Spybot was smart enough to launch itself before any other program and start the scan. Another 20 minutes and again the same recommendation - "Please allow Spybot to run at next restart". By this time, I was already out of patience and started to look out for some tool that actually will clean my system rather than sitting there and scanning my system 10 times without actually fixing the problem.
My search ended with a tool called "FreeFixer". It was a small download and I was not expecting it to do much. To add to my skepticism, it completed the scan in less than 3 minutes. And then asked me whether I would allow it to delete few registry keys/executables. I complied again and it said, since few executables are locked by running processes, I need to run the tool again after restart. Not again, I said and then reluctantly rebooted my system and ran the tool again. It deleted the files which were locked earlier and said that my system is now clean. And to my surprise, it "actually fixed" the problem :-).
FreeFixer is worth downloading and a must-have on your system.