Browser hijack not only dent your system safety. It also dent your MBR which is needed for proper boot. By injecting in to the MBR, whatever you delete by system and registry, it gets back its ugly head thro system restore points and the changed mbr. Hi Philter, you could have saved your self of wasted weekend, had you tried aswmbr.exe , a free program by avast. It allows you to fix mbr and also kill rootkit.Otherwise, by starting installation cd, and in the screen after windows load up, select R and then in the command prompt, enter 1 and pass the password, type fixmbr. Then say yes to the warning, Your mbr infection is set correct and you could get rid of this problem. I get this idea after reading article in mcafee threat analysis. The antiviurs does not touch these browser hijacks , as they are not virus, They are commercial intended program, without user consent. Nowaday programs are bundled with these unwanted programs. Major geek is the best site, which does not allow these kind of bundled offers hidden in their downloads. Even when you click java , it asks for ASK tool bar, if you deselect it carefully , you may escape ask tool bar. There are a couple of program, like babylon tool bar, which is bundled with a user program and it dents your browser completely by annoying with babylon tool, which you never opted. This is even if you use your brain to custom install the program and de select the tool bar. So the best way to avoid is to choose the best secure site like major geeks. Some sites do not mind in giving this unwanted programs free to your computer without your user options.
I have answered numerous questions on these browser hijacks and i was affected badly by these browser hijacks even from once trusted site like cnet. Now, when i click reliable websites for download, the link redirects to these sites.