the problem began yesterday, around the time when my avast trial ran out, i kept getting error messages reading something along the lines of 'this webpage is not available'- Error 101 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_RESET) on google chrome and similar messages on firefox and internet explorer. about a half hour afterwards everything started to freeze up on me, starting with the start menu. i thought restarting my laptop would fix the problem but it just made it worse because after starting it up and entering the password all that came up was a black screen and my mouse cursor. i then restarted my laptop again and ran it in safe mode. i downloaded malwarebytes and ran a quick scan. it found two issues and quarantined them. i thought that that had fixed the problem but apparently not. i then downloaded avg and it seems as though i can't start the scan because it's in safe mode.
i hope that there's a solution to this which doesn't involve me shelling out $250 to buy a copy of windows 7