alright, some new developments: i found the xp cd for my xp home comp that also had the virus and corrupted utilities. it was buried under piles of stuff in a drawer somewhere. thankfully, it was in my special box where i keep all my driver cds! which means that im home free -- time to reinstall!
ive gathered all important files into one backup folder which i shall then put on another hard drive which i shall stick in the comp.
but i have a question: can the virus jump to the new hd like it does to usb flash drives? because in that case, i'll have to stick a cd writer drive in and use cds to back the files up...
regardless, im going to have to blast the disk(s) with an arsenal of anti-baddie software before i copy the files to the new install